As it works to build a knowledge-based economy, education has become an increasing priority for the UAE. The emirate of Sharjah is placing particular emphasis on innovation and quality as it positions itself as a centre for education within the federation and the wider region. This recognition of the centrality of education is not new, however, as Sharjah has a long history as a leader in this arena. Indeed, Sharjah was the site of the first modern school in the region, founded in 1930, as well as the first school for girls, established in 1955. It is now home to two of the Middle East’s highest-ranking universities, alongside a range of research, vocational and training institutes.